“You will agree in a country of dictators, there will be no protests, no booing,” President Zuma told journalists, in his first comments over the incident. “In a country where there is no democracy, there will be an angry president [ordering] the police to arrest these people.”
In his response, President Zuma said:
I AM VERY HAPPY THAT SOUTH AFRICANS HAVE MATURED IN DEMOCRACY AND THEY HAVE A PRESIDENT THEY CAN TALK TO [ABOUT] WHATEVER IS IN THEIR MINDS. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ARRESTED OR HARASSED.
When asked whether he would step down, President Zuma said he would leave office but not now, local media report.
President Zuma said had been under pressure from a wide range of groups – including trade unions, big businesses, opposition parties and members of his own party – to resign.
Commenting on President Zuma’s statement, Mulongoti said it was not difficult to tell that the South African Head of State was indirectly referring to the political situation in Zambia because President Lungu was always angry and ordering police to harass the opposition and others with dissenting views.
He said the recent arrest of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was clearly instigated by President Lungu who had threatened during campaigns last year that he was going to sort out the opposition leader if he rejected the election results.
“How can a person elevated to a very comfortable position pay the Zambians with anger every time he appears on television? He is always angry instead of acknowledging how good they have been to him…instead of worshiping the people of Zambia. It’s very sad indeed. We expect him to show more gratitude than anger on his face. Unless he has any other hidden reasons why he could be showing that anger. Last time, I said there could be underlying causes or it could be that his health is failing him that is why he is angry all the time. Because it is not normal to just wake up angry and you are just saying that ‘whether you like it or not, it is like this’. Is he unwell? Is that what is causing the anger?” Mulongoti wondered.
HE THREATENED HH DURING CAMPAIGNS THAT HE WAS GOING TO SORT HIM OUT. HE HAS BEEN THREATENING EVERYONE ELSE THAT ‘I WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE A TONNE OF BRICKS’ AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. HE RECENTLY THREATENED PEOPLE IN HIS OWN PARTY WHERE NOW NO ONE CAN SPEAK OUT. HE IS THREATENING EVERYONE NOW; HE IS EVER ANGRY.
He said President Zuma’s statement on democracy was timely, looking at what was happening in the region.
ZAMBIA IS NOT A KANTEMBA, IT IS A REPUBLIC WHERE WE ALL BELONG AND IF WE WANT TO PERSUADE EACH OTHER, WE MUST DO IT WITH COURTESY AND DECENCY. WE WOULD LIKE TO APPEAL TO HIM [PRESIDENT LUNGU], STOP UNLEASHING POLICE ON US, STOP BEING DICTATORIAL IN YOUR CONDUCT, STOP DISPLAYING ANGER, SHOW HUMILITY AND SHOW COURTESY. THAT’S WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR FROM HIM,
“We are very proud of that statement by the South African President Jacob Zuma because all along, we were worried that at his level he was silent about what was happening in the region. Thank God he surprised us by coming out with that statement which was expected of him for a very long time. What more would you expect anyway? They are such angry presidents who unleash policemen on their opponents. Who are the people doing that? It is President Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe and our President Edgar Lungu. So, there is no doubt. I don’t think even those people who were listening had any doubts in their minds on who he was referring to. I am sure after going to their respective countries, they have had time to rethink about it.”
He said president Lungu and Mugabe should get some wisdom from President Zuma’s statement.
“We hope that they can get some wisdom from that President of South Africa. They are the two culprits in the region who unleash policemen on their opponents and show extreme anger. And I wonder why President Lungu always shows so much anger. When he became President, he wasn’t a wealthy man. He is such a wealthy man because the people of Zambia have given him so much money. He has free food, free accommodation…everything,” said Mulongoti.